Aonghais Cook

Principal Ecologist - Offshore Renewable Energy

Aonghais undertakes research examining the causes of changes in the abundance of waterbirds and seabirds, and potential impacts of man-made developments on their populations.

Interests & Responsibilities

Aonghais works on a wide variety of short-term research projects, mainly focussing on the ecology of marine birds. Recent work has focussed on environmental impacts of renewable energy developments and developing monitoring strategies and indicators for seabirds and other marine species. Aonghais regularly provides scientific advice to government organisations, industry and others, and welcomes opportunities for collaboration.


BSc Ecology Stirling University, 2000-2004. MSc Ecology University of Wales, Bangor, 2004-2005. PhD Landscape Use By Gulls, Newcastle University, 2005-2008.

Recent BTO Publications

Deakin, Z., Cook, A., Daunt, F., McCluskie, A., Morley, N., Witcutt, E., Wright, L. Bolton, M. 2022. A review to inform the assessment of the risk of collision and displacement in petrels and shearwaters from offshore wind developments in Scotland. Scottish Government report Link to publication ISBN: 9781805250296
Clewley, G.D., Cook, A.S.C.P., Davies, J.G., Humphreys, E.M., O’Hanlon, N.J., Weston, E., Boulinier, T. & Ponchon, A 2022. Acute impacts from Teflon harnesses used to fit bio-logging devices to Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla. Ringing & Migration View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/03078698.2022.2151065)
Croll, D.A., Ellis, A.A., Adams, J., Cook, A.S.C.P., Garthe, S., Goodale, M.W., Hall, C.S., Hazen, E., Keitt, B.S., Kelsey, E.C., Leirness, J.B., Lyons, D.E., McKown, M.W., Potiek, A., Searle, K.R., Soudijn, F.H., Rockwood, R.C., Tershy, B.R., Tinker, M., VanderWerf, E.A., Williams, K.A., Young, L. & Zilliacus, K. 2022. Framework for assessing and mitigating the impacts of offshore wind energy development on marine birds. Biological Conservation 276 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109795)
Jarrett, D., Calladine, J., Cook, A.S.C.P., Upton, A., Williams, J.,Williams, S., Wilson, J.M., Wilson, M.W., Woodward, I. & Humphreys, E.M. 2022. Behavioural responses of non-breeding waterbirds to marine traffic in the near-shore environment. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2022.2113855)
Johnston, D.T., Thaxter, C.B., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Humphreys, L., Bouten, W., Clewley, G.D., Scragg, E.S., Masden, E.A., Barber, L.J., Conway, G., Clark, N.A., Burton, N.H.K & Cook, A.S.C.P. 2022. Investigating avoidance and attraction responses in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus to offshore wind farms. Marine Ecology Progress Series 686 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps13964)
Cook, A.S.C.P. 2021. Additional analysis to inform SNCB recommendations regarding collision risk modelling. Research Report no. 739. BTO Research Report 739 ISBN: 978-1-912642-30-4

Other Publications

Cook, A., Rushton, S., Allan, J. & Baxter, A. 2008. An evaluation of techniques to control problem bird species on landfill sites. Environmental Management 41: 834-843.

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